Ontario Approves Zoning Order to Create Canada’s First Ever Mixed-Use Regional Health & Wellness Village in Collingwood

Source: Newsfile

Project: The Poplar Regional Health & Wellness Village, Collingwood, ON

Live Work Learn Play is working with a private landowner to co-master develop, envision and deliver a complete health & wellness community on 130 acres of vacant land in the heart of Simcoe County in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada.

Direct link: https://www.newsfilecorp.com/release/144161/Di-Poce-Management-Limited-and-Live-Work-Learn-Play-Inc.-Ontario-Approves-Zoning-Order-to-Create-Canadas-First-Ever-MixedUse-Regional-Health-Wellness-Village-in-Collingwood

Ontario Approves Zoning Order to Create Canada’s First Ever Mixed-Use Regional Health & Wellness Village in Collingwood

The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing approved and filed a Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO) for The Poplar Regional Health & Wellness Village, which will bring state of the art healthcare, innovative housing and over $2 billion in positive economic impact to Collingwood, the region and the province


Collingwood, Ontario–(Newsfile Corp. – November 17, 2022) – The co-master development team of Di Poce Management Limited (DPML) and Live Work Learn Play Inc. (LWLP), announced today that the municipal request for an MZO, needed to convert the greenfield Poplar Regional Health & Wellness Village lands in Collingwood from an industrial employment area to a modernized mix of uses, has been approved by Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The request for an MZO was endorsed by Collingwood Council on August 18, 2022 and re-affirmed by Council on November 10, 2022.

« On behalf of Di Poce Management Limited and Live Work Learn Play, we are thrilled that our complete community health and wellness project has received the necessary approval from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to allow the transformation of underutilized land into a thriving district with an enduring, fully-integrated mix of uses, » said Max Reim, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Managing Partner & Founding Principal of Live Work Learn Play Inc. « We are incredibly grateful to the visionary leadership of former Mayor Keith Hull, Deputy Mayor Mariane McLeod, Councillor Kathy Jeffery and other leaders for their unwavering support and wisdom, and to Minister Steve Clark, the entire Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and MPP Brian Saunderson for their tremendous leadership and vision. We are now able to move forward and continue working closely with Collingwood Town Council and the community on delivering Mr. John Di Poce’s legacy of providing state of the art health and wellness and many other exciting benefits to residents of the region. »

The 130-acre proposed development includes a transformative vision to deliver Canada’s first ever complete mixed-use regional health and wellness village for Collingwood and the province, including lands for a state-of-the-art regional hospital campus, which would be gifted as a community benefit by Mr. Di Poce. Di Poce has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Collingwood General & Marine Hospital and its foundation to donate up to 30 acres of land, which secures a site for the hospital’s future and facilitates its potential relocation and expansion. The compelling vision put forward by DPML and LWLP will deliver an innovative and fully integrated mix of over 2,200 residential units, including a portion dedicated to attainable and/or affordable housing, and a significant number of quality, knowledge-based jobs for the region. The project also proposes a regional mobility hub to facilitate access to important health and wellness services and amenities and improve quality of life.

« We recognize that projects of this magnitude take a long time, and we expect to be working in this community for decades on The Poplar Regional Health & Wellness Village, » said Armando Lopes, Development Manager, Di Poce Management Limited. « We worked closely and collaboratively with the past council, Town staff and community for over a year to get to where we are today. We look forward to working with the new council as this project continues to evolve, and with future Town leadership and the community for years to come. »

DPML and LWLP engaged in over a year and a half long process of robust community and stakeholder engagement to garner input and overwhelming support for the development vision to ensure the project will help meet the evolving needs of this fast growing town and region. DPML and LWLP continue to work with the Town to affirm, through a finalized development agreement, the community benefits previously committed to and endorsed by council.

Provincial approval to move this project forward aligns with the aspirations of Mr. John Di Poce, who – as the owner of Di Poce Management Limited and the lands – has had the longstanding desire to create a legacy of health, education and wellbeing in the Town of Collingwood and communities across the region. This is a natural extension of Mr. John Di Poce’s previous commitments to the area, including the gift of land, adjacent to the proposed health and wellness village, that helped create the existing Georgian College South Georgian Bay Campus.

An MZO is a Provincial tool that is used to advance and expedite developments that support and implement government priorities so that benefits can be delivered to Ontario communities earlier through better use of underutilized land. In the case of The Poplar Regional Health and Wellness Village, the MZO guarantees the ability to deliver a new regional hospital on the lands, and allows a complementary mix of uses to offer supportive healthcare and much needed attainable housing for the community, region and Province. The Town retains its authority under the Planning Act with respect to subsequent planning processes and approvals required to implement the project in the normal course.